The Gambler is taking another chance on Modesto as country legend Kenny Rogers returns to town.
Rogers, who played a sold-out show at the Gallo Center for the Arts in October 2009, is coming back to the venue Wednesday.
Since his last performance here, the 74-year-old entertainer has produced an inspirational gospel album, "Love Of God." The 2011 release was his first in the genre and adds a chapter to a career that has had the singer finding success in country, pop, jazz and folk. Over his 52-year career, Rogers has sold more than52 million records worldwide, recorded more than 65 albums and won three Grammy awards.
But Rogers probably is best known for his string of country and pop hits starting in the 1970s, which helped him cross over into a mainstream star. His No. 1 hits include "The Gambler," "Lady," "Lucille," "She Believes in Me," "Islands in the Stream" and "We've Got Tonight." The Recording Industry Association of America has ranked him the eighth best-selling male artist of all time.
The Texas-native's storied career began with his first band, The First Edition, back in 1967. Since then, it has spanned from his chart-topping music career to movies including "The Gambler" and even his own restaurant chain, Kenny Rogers Roasters.
Last fall, Rogers chronicled some of those experiences in his memoir, "Luck or Something Like It," a play on his 1978 single "Love or Something Like It."
Audiences who come to see Rogers can expect their familiar favorites. His last show at Gallo was a sellout and his upcoming performance is expected to be the same. He told NPR last fall that he aims to please with his decades' worth of hits.
"If I were going out doing all new music like some of these young guys do, where they go out and they have one hit, that would scare me," he said. "But I've been lucky since The First Edition. I've had a minimum or four or five major hits to do, and now I've got like 25 No. 1 records, and I try to do them all. When you do a new song, the audience has to work very hard. They have to decide subconsciously, 'Do I like the song? Do I agree with what it says? Do I like the way he sings it?' But when you do a hit, they're a part of the show. They just relax and enjoy it."
WHAT: Kenny Rogers
WHEN: 7 p.m. Wednesday
WHERE: Mary Stuart Rogers Theater, Gallo Center for the Arts, 1000 I St., Modesto
CALL: (209) 338-2100